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Newark Family And Estate Law Blog

When there is a significant difference between your income and your spouse’s earnings, a judge may order you to pay spousal support. Also known as alimony, the purpose is to help your partner with daily living expenses until he or she becomes financially independent. 

The Judicial Council of California states that a court can only award spousal support as part of a court proceeding such as a legal separation, divorce or domestic violence restraining order. The duration of the payments depends primarily on the type of support required. 

Temporary spousal support 

A judge may award temporary support to your spouse for the duration of the divorce process. It begins with the initial filing and ends with the finalization of your dissolution. 

The court will typically use a formula to determine the amount of temporary support payments. The calculation evaluates elements such as current incomes, living costs and time off required for child care and then comes up with a payment that will, more or less, equalize the financial abilities of you and your spouse. If either your or your soon-to-be-ex believes that the estimated support amount is unsustainable, you may petition the court for a correction. 

Permanent spousal support 

Permanent spousal support, if applicable, takes effect after the final divorce judgment and could last for a set number of years or have no end date. Unlike the mathematical nature of the temporary support calculation, a permanent support determination is much more arbitrary and takes greater factors into account. 

If you filed for divorce before the 10-year mark, the judge generally orders support for half the duration of your marriage. Other aspects considered may include age, health and your ability to pay. You generally do not have to continue paying support after the ordered time period ends or after your ex remarries. 

As a parent, you often make difficult choices for the good of your children. You will fight for their good health, for their educational opportunities and to protect them from harm as much as you are able. However, does this mean you should remain in an unhappy marriage for the benefit of the children?

It is a common conclusion of many studies that children thrive when they have the love and attention of both parents. As a result, many parents agonize over the decision of whether to divorce or remain together while the children are young. If you are in this quandary, you may want to carefully examine both sides of the argument.

Staying together

To stay together or to divorce is a question many parents face when their marriages turn sour. While staying together for the sake of the kids may seem the ideal, you will have to ask yourself if it will mean your children will witness arguments, tears and confusing circumstances that may cause them to question your feelings for them. Is it reasonable to imagine you or your spouse becoming so despondent over the unhappy marriage that you are unable to properly care for the children?

On the other hand, you and your spouse may be determined to keep your relationship civil while the children are young. In this way, you may provide a loving, stable childhood for them without letting on that you are unhappy. In fact, if there is a chance that you and your spouse can repair the damage to your marriage, staying together may help with this process.

Living apart

Deciding to divorce means bringing change and perhaps sadness into your family. It is not easy to avoid this reality. However, with careful planning, appropriate honesty and mutual respect, you can guide your children through the process, optimistic that they will adjust to the changes and thrive.

Of course, just as every marriage and family is unique, there can be no cookie-cutter answer. Your situation has its own factors to weigh, and your decision is ultimately you own. If you decide to divorce, the important goal is reaching a parenting arrangement that allows your children to bond equally with both of you. To improve your chances of reaching this goal, it is wise to secure individual representation from an attorney who is committed to keeping your divorce as peaceful as possible.

Many people view estate plans as something that makes life a little less complicated for their loved ones after they die. Rather than leave the matter up to the state or family feuds, they can decide who gets what and how much. 

However, the truth is that estate plans have many other purposes worth considering. Forbes reminds people that estate plans also help them plan for their own personal needs, such as what happens to their assets if they are unable to make decisions for themselves. 

Health care 

Even healthy people can suffer from injuries in sports, motor crashes or a bad fall that leaves them incapacitated. In these instances, someone else may need to make key decisions about health care. Designating a health care proxy simplifies this process. 


While incapacitated, people also need someone to make financial decisions on their behalf. Is there a certain amount of money that usually gets set aside for savings? Does someone need to balance the investment portfolio? A power of attorney gives someone the right to make legal and financial decisions on someone else’s behalf. 


Fidelity points out that business succession is another aspect that estate plans can take care of. While it specifically points to business succession after a person passes away, incapacitation is another reason someone else may need to step in. The person tasked with handling personal finances may not necessarily have the time, will or qualifications to handle the job requirements so choosing someone for this specific role is important, when applicable. 

Many of the same concerns someone may have when they pass away arise when they become incapacitated, even temporarily. In fact, there are sometimes even more concerns as the person in charge might need to keep up with accounts instead of canceling them.